Church History

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    Rosetta Stone

    Created in 196 BCE. Found at Fort Julien near the town of Rashid (Rosetta) in the Nile Delta in July 1799 by French officer Pierre-François Bouchard during the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt.
    Allowed decipherment of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs by about 1827 in Europe. The English translation of the Stone wasn’t published until 1858.
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    A semi-official history of the early Latter Day Saint movement during the lifetime of Joseph Smith. It is largely composed of Smith's writings, interpretations, and editorial comments by Smith's secretaries, scribes, and after Smith's death, historians of LDS Church. Written between 1839 and 1856.
  • Joseph Smith Born

    Joseph Smith, Junior is born in Sharon, Vermont, fifth child of Lucy and Joseph Smith, a hard-luck farmer whose family moves frequently as his business ventures fail. Joseph, Sr. and his sons spend part of the warm weather months treasure hunting using various divination tools, including seer stones that, when viewed at the bottom of a hat, are said to convey special sight.
  • Smith Family Move to NH

    The Smith family moves to Lebanon, New Hampshire, where their financial situation improves and the children are able to begin school.
  • Joseph's Typhoid Infection

    A local typhoid epidemic kills 6,000 and infects the Smith children. Although none die, young Joseph develops a leg infection that doctors initially think will require amputation. A novel type of surgery saves the boy's limb, but he must use crutches for the next three years and will walk with a limp thereafter.
  • Smith Family Move to NY

    Following a third straight year of crop failure, the Smith family moves to Palmyra, New York, a town of 4,000 situated near the planned route of the Erie Canal. Palmyra lies within an area known as the "Burned-over District" for the evangelical fervor of its residents.
  • Move to Manchester

    Joseph Smith claims in his 1838 history that his family moved to Manchester "about four years after my father's arrival at Palmyra". He confirms this in his letter to John Wentworth in 1842: "When ten years old my parents removed to Palmyra New York, where we resided about four years, and from thence we removed to the town of Manchester."
  • First Vision

    Joseph Smith said that he received the First Vision in the spring during this year. This event does not dramatically change Smith's life. He continues to work the farm and treasure hunt with his father, and when he mentions the vision to a local minister, he is scorned. Smith will not give his followers a detailed description of this vision until 1839. One theory places the first vision on March 26.
  • Seer Stone Found

    Smith finds brown seer stone while treasure digging (later said to be a well) on Willard Chase property. This stone would be placed in his hat to dictate the Book of Mormon.
  • Angel Moroni

    Fearing that he has fallen off the right path, Smith prays forgiveness for all his "sins and follies" and receives a vision of the angel named Moroni, who speaks of a book written on gold plates and buried in a nearby hillside. According to Moroni, the book describes the people who used to inhabit America and contains "the fullness of the everlasting Gospel."
  • D&C 2

    An extract from Joseph Smith’s history relating the words of the angel Moroni to Joseph Smith the Prophet, while in the house of the Prophet’s father at Manchester, New York, on the evening of September 21, 1823. Moroni was the last of a long line of historians who had made the record that is now before the world as the Book of Mormon.
  • Hill Cumorah: First Visit

    Guided by his vision, Smith locates the book in a box in the Hill Cumorah, just three miles from the Smith farm, but is told by Moroni that he cannot take the gold plates yet; instead he must return on September 22 for each of the next four years and be instructed on the mission God has in store for him. When Smith attempts to touch the box anyway, he receives a shock by toad-like creature, instructed to bring older brother Alvin next year.
  • Alvin Smith Dies

    Joseph Smith's eldest brother Alvin dies, putting greater financial strain on the family.
  • Hill Cumorah: Second Visit

  • Hyrum Smith Joins the Masons

  • Hill Cumorah: Third Visit

  • Joseph Meets Emma

    Smith and his father join a treasure hunting expedition 135 miles away in Harmony, Pennsylvania. No treasure is found, but Smith meets and falls in love with 21-year-old Emma Hale while boarding at her father's house.
  • Home Foreclosure

    Smith family fails to pay mortgage, lose their land and foreclosed house to Lemuel Durfee, while both Joseph Sr. and Jr. dig for money with Josiah Stowell.
  • Seer Stone Complaint

    A criminal complaint is sworn out against Smith for fraudulent use of seer stones. He admits to using them in the past but says he has now given up the practice.
  • Hill Cumorah: Fourth Visit

  • Joseph married Emma Hale

    On 18 January, Joseph married Emma Hale, against the consent of her parents. South Bainbridge, Chenango, New York, United States
  • Hill Cumorah: Fifth Visit

    Smith digs up the gold plates. Warned by Moroni not to let anyone else see them, he does show his mother a pair of spectacles with precious stones where the eyepieces would normally be. These stones are to help Smith translate the book from the "reformed Egyptian". But rumors of a golden Bible have begun to circulate in the neighborhood, so Joseph and Emma must flee potential thieves. Financially assisted by Martin Harris, the couple sets out for Harmony, hiding the plates in a barrel of beans.
  • Received the Golden plates

    On 22 September, he received the Golden plates from the Angel Moroni. Joseph Smith Jr. describes running for 3 miles, carrying the gold plates and fighting off three attackers.
  • Book of Mormon Translation Begins

    Emma's father allows the couple to stay in a small house on his property, and Joseph begins the task of translating the writing of the gold book, using his interpretation device and dictating the results to Emma.
  • Martin Harris as Scribe

    April: Harris, who has followed Joseph Smith to Harmony, takes up work on the book, writing down Smith's dictation. Over the next two months, they produce 116 pages of text.
  • Plates and Translation Ability Taken Away

    Harris takes the 116 pages back to Palmyra to show his doubting wife and loses the only copy. When weeks pass with no word from Harris, Joseph heads back to Palmyra and discovers the loss. Begging for forgiveness, he is visited by an angel who takes the gold plates for a time as punishment for Smith's indiscretion.
  • D&C 3

    Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, July 1828, relating to the loss of 116 pages of manuscript translated from the first part of the Book of Mormon, which was called the book of Lehi. The Prophet had reluctantly allowed these pages to pass from his custody to that of Martin Harris, who had served for a brief period as scribe in the translation of the Book of Mormon. The revelation was given through the Urim and Thummim. (See section 10.)
  • Return of the Plates

    Smith gets the gold plates and interpretation device back.
  • D&C 4

    Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to his father, Joseph Smith Sr., at Harmony, Pennsylvania, February 1829. Dictated shortly before the translation work resumed, this revelation spoke of a “marvelous work” about to come forth and added that the “field is white already to harvest.” These phrases, also used in several JS revelations in the spring of 1829, invoked a sense of urgency and an impending spiritual harvest.
  • D&C 5

    Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, March 1829, at the request of Martin Harris. 1–10, This generation will receive the Lord’s word through Joseph Smith; 11–18, Three witnesses will testify of the Book of Mormon; 19–20, The word of the Lord will be verified as in previous times; 21–35, Martin Harris may repent and be one of the witnesses.
  • D&C 7

    Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, April 1829, when they inquired through the Urim and Thummim as to whether John, the beloved disciple, tarried in the flesh or had died. The revelation is a translated version of the record made on parchment by John and hidden up by himself.
  • D&C 8

    Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Oliver Cowdery, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, April 1829. In the course of the translation of the Book of Mormon, Oliver, who continued to serve as scribe, writing at the Prophet’s dictation, desired to be endowed with the gift of translation. The Lord responded to his supplication by granting this revelation.
  • D&C 10

    Herein the Lord informs Joseph of alterations made by wicked men in the 116 manuscript pages from the translation of the book of Lehi, in the Book of Mormon. Assigning a date to this revelation is problematic, both because the earliest extant versions of the text are dated inconsistently and because the content fits multiple historical contexts. A potential solution to these complexities is to consider the featured text a composite of two revelations, one from 1828 and the other 1829.
  • Oliver Cowdrey as Scribe

    5 April: Oliver Cowdery became the new scribe for Joseph.
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    Book of Mormon Translation Resumes

    Young schoolteacher Oliver Cowdery arrives in Harmony and becomes a scribe for Smith as he resumes the translation of the gold plates. The two men finish work in June.
  • D&C 6

    Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, April 1829. Oliver Cowdery began his labors as scribe in the translation of the Book of Mormon, April 7, 1829. He had already received a divine manifestation of the truth of the Prophet’s testimony respecting the plates on which was engraved the Book of Mormon record. The Prophet inquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim and received this response.
  • D&C 12

    Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Joseph Knight Sr., at Harmony, Pennsylvania, May 1829. Joseph Knight believed the declarations of Joseph Smith concerning his possession of the Book of Mormon plates and the work of translation then in progress and several times had given material assistance to Joseph Smith and his scribe, which enabled them to continue translating. At Joseph Knight’s request, the Prophet inquired of the Lord and received the revelation.
  • Aaronic Priesthood Received

    Cowdery and Smith take to the woods to pray and are visited by John the Baptist, who confers the Aaronic priesthood upon them. John the Baptist also tells them the Melchizedek Priesthood will also be restored and give them power to "lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." In anticipation of the organization of the "Church of Christ," John the Baptist announces Smith will be "the first Elder of the Church" and Cowdery the second. The two men baptize each other in the Susquehanna.
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    Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration

    Peter, James, John appear possibly within this 13-day period. This event takes place without mention or record until several years later.
  • D&C 11

    Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to his brother Hyrum Smith, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, May 1829. This revelation was received through the Urim and Thummim in answer to Joseph’s supplication and inquiry. Joseph Smith’s history suggests that this revelation was received after the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood.
  • D&C 14

    Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to David Whitmer, at Fayette, New York, June 1829. The Whitmer family had become greatly interested in the translating of the Book of Mormon. The Prophet established his residence at the home of Peter Whitmer Sr., where he dwelt until the work of translation was carried to completion and the copyright on the forthcoming book was secured.
  • D&C 18

    Revelation to Joseph Smith the Prophet, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer, given at Fayette, New York, June 1829. According to the Prophet, this revelation made known “the calling of twelve apostles in these last days, and also instructions relative to building up the Church.”
  • D&C 15

    Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to John Whitmer, at Fayette, New York, June 1829. The message is intimately and impressively personal in that the Lord tells of what was known only to John Whitmer and Himself.
  • D&C 16

    Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Peter Whitmer Jr., at Fayette, New York, June 1829
  • D&C 17

    After both a passage in the Book of Mormon and a JS revelation promised that three witnesses would testify of the gold plates, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris requested that they be given the opportunity. In response, JS dictated this revelation in Fayette, New York, in June 1829.
  • Book of Mormon Copyright

    mith, who has completed the translation at Peter Whitmer's farm in Fayette, New York, receives a copyright for The Book of Mormon.
  • 3 Witnesses

    Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris say an angel of God appeared to them and showed them the Book of Mormon plates and they heard the voice of the Lord pronounce that Joseph Smith’s translation had been accomplished “by the gift and power of God.” This experience took place  near the home of Peter Whitmer Sr. in Fayette, New York. Whitmer later describes “a table with many records on it, plates, sword of Laban, directors and interpreters, heard voice."
  • 8 Witnesses

    On Wednesday, June 30, or perhaps the first day or two of July, they all gathered at the Smith home in Manchester, where the Eight Witnesses were allowed to handle the plates. Then the testimonies of the Witnesses were written, since soon thereafter they would appear in the preface to the first edition of the Book of Mormon.
  • Book of Mormon Typesetting

    Smith locates a publisher for the Book of Mormon in Palmyra and typesetting begins. The 5,000 copy initial print run is financed by a $3,000 mortgage on Harris' farm.
  • D&C 19

    Revelation given through Joseph Smith, at Manchester, New York, likely in the summer of 1829. The immediate purpose was to assure payment to printer E. B. Grandin by commanding Harris to “not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the book of Mormon.” Although the first two published versions date this revelation to March 1830,the context better supports summer 1829.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 74

    Even before the organization of the Church, questions had arisen about the proper mode of baptism, leading the Prophet to seek answers on the subject. Joseph Smith’s history states that this revelation is an explanation of 1 Corinthians 7:14, a scripture that had often been used to justify infant baptism. The document was created before JS moved to Ohio in the second half of January 1831, and it could have been written as early as January 1830.
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    Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible

    In 1830, Joseph Smith began the process of revising the King James Version of the Bible through inspiration. He worked on it over the next three years, until July 1833. However, only excerpts of Joseph’s revisions were published during his lifetime.
  • Book of Mormon, First Edition

    The Book of Mormon is published, each copy selling for $1.75, soon reduced to $1.25. It doesn't sell well. Brigham Young, a practicing Methodist who has moved to the area near Palmyra with his wife, reads the Book shortly after publication and will be baptized as a Mormon two years later.
  • Church Founded

    The first organization meeting of the LDS is held at the Whitmer farm with about 50 people in attendance. Smith and Cowdery are ordained "elders," and Smith will also become known as "prophet." The first four Mormon missionaries (including Cowdery) head west that October.
  • NAME OF THE CHURCH: “Church of Christ”

    The Church of Christ is officially organized with six members. The name “Church of Christ” was inspired by the scriptures and used until 1834.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 20

    The Prophet wrote, “We obtained of Him [Jesus Christ] the following, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation; which not only gave us much information, but also pointed out to us the precise day upon which, according to His will and commandment, we should proceed to organize His Church once more here upon the earth.”
  • Doctrine and Covenants 21

    By unanimous vote these persons expressed their desire and determination to organize, according to the commandment of God. They also voted to accept and sustain Joseph Smith Jr. and Oliver Cowdery as the presiding officers of the Church. With the laying on of hands, Joseph then ordained Oliver an elder of the Church, and Oliver similarly ordained Joseph.
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  • Doctrine and Covenants 23

    Five revelations each addressed to one of JS’s family members or a close associate who desired to know the Lord’s will concerning himself. JS’s history and other sources suggest that the revelations date between the 6 April organization and an 11 April meeting. [23:1–2] Revelation A
    [23:3] Revelation B
    [23:4] Revelation C
    [23:5] Revelation D
    [23:6–7] Revelation E
  • Doctrine and Covenants 22

    This revelation was given to the Church in consequence of some who had previously been baptized desiring to unite with the Church without rebaptism.
  • Joseph Arrested

    Smith is arrested and charged with "being a disorderly person." Smith and Oliver Cowdery chased out of town, travel through the night, return to Knight home in Harmony.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 25 (Revelation, July 1830–C)

    This revelation manifests the will of the Lord to Emma Smith, the Prophet’s wife. The revelation called her “an Elect Lady” and charged her to comfort JS in his afflictions, select hymns for the church, preach to church members, and write for JS so that Oliver Cowdery could serve elsewhere.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 26 (Revelation, July 1830–B)

    After the publication of the Book of Mormon in March 1830, he spent much of his time building up the church and ministering to its members. He traveled back and forth between Harmony, Pennsylvania, and the three branches of the church in New York, leaving him less time to work on his farm and care for his material needs. This revelation called JS, Oliver Cowdery, and John Whitmer to study the scriptures, preach, confirm the Colesville believers, and work on JS’s farm until the next conference.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 24 (Revelation, July 1830–A)

    Though less than four months had elapsed since the Church was organized, persecution had become intense, and the leaders had to seek safety in partial seclusion. The following three revelations were given at this time to strengthen, encourage, and instruct them.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 27

    This revelation announced guidelines for what members of the Church of Christ should use in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to represent the blood of Christ. “As neither his wife nor mine had been as yet confirmed, it was proposed that we should confirm them, and partake together of the sacrament, before he and his wife should leave us. I set out to go to procure some wine for the occasion... when I was met by a heavenly messenger, and received the following revelation.”
  • Kirtland Period Begins

    The missionaries taking The Book of Mormon's message to the Indians in Ohio and Missouri have stopped in Kirtland, Ohio. A Baptist minister named Sidney Rigdon decides to join the LDS and bring his 100-member congregation with him. Soon afterward, a vision instructs Smith to move the nascent Mormon community west to Kirtland.
  • Joseph and Emma in Kirtland

    Joseph and Emma Smith reach Kirtland; other church members will join them in the spring. For the next six years, Smith will be based there and will announce some 65 revelations, most pertaining to church structure and organization.
  • "New Jerusalem" Concept

    After missionaries reach Missouri and settle in Independence, Smith leads a group of Mormons from Kirtland west to Independence, which, according to the story, God has revealed will be the gathering place for Mormons and the site of a "New Jerusalem." In August they lay the cornerstone for a temple; within a year, more than 800 more church members have moved to the area. Yet Smith decides to keep his headquarters in Kirtland.
  • Bible Translation Begins

    Joseph Smith begins work on an inspired translation of the Bible.
  • Book of Commandments Determined

    In a November 1831 conference, Joseph Smith and other Church leaders decided to publish his early revelations for the Saints.
  • D&C 1

    Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, on November 1, 1831, during a special conference of elders of the Church, held at Hiram, Ohio. Many revelations had been received from the Lord prior to this time, and the compilation of these for publication in book form was one of the principal subjects passed upon at the conference. This section constitutes the Lord’s preface to the doctrines, covenants, and commandments given in this dispensation.
  • Book Commandments Publishing Begins

    William W. Phelps began typesetting and printing the revelations in late 1832.
  • First Presidency Founded

    The First Presidency was founded by Joseph and his two counselors, with authority over all church matters.
  • Tarred and Feathered

    A mob resentful of growing Mormon influence tars and feathers Smith in front of his Kirtland house.
  • First Account of the First Vision

    Joseph wrote the first known account of his First Vision Manuscript evidence suggests excisions took place mid-twentieth century. This tear was mended with clear cellophane tape, invented in 1930. The three leaves certainly had been removed by 1965, when they were described as “cut out,” although they were archived together with the letterbook. The three leaves were later restored to the volume in the 90s.
  • Book of Commandments, First Edition

    Church leaders carefully selected, edited, and compiled the revelations, then turned them over to Church printer William W. Phelps. He began typesetting and printing the revelations in late 1832. However, in July of 1833, a mob destroyed the printing office. Church members saved some of the already printed sheets. These were bound as the Book of Commandments, but the books were incomplete, ending partway through the 65th chapter.
  • TITHING: JST Genesis Abram "more than that which he had need."

    39 Wherefore, Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him more than that which he had need. JST of Genesis 14:39
  • Word of Wisdom Revealed

    On 27 February, the Word of Wisdom was revealed to Joseph.
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    Temple: Kirtland Construction

    Work begins on a grand Mormon Temple in Kirtland. It will take three years to complete and measure 55 by 65 feet, soaring 110 feet high.
  • Doctrine and Covenants Determined

    In 1834, Joseph Smith and other Church leaders formed a committee to compile and publish a new book of teachings and revelations.
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    A semi-official history of the early Latter Day Saint movement during the lifetime of Joseph Smith. It is largely composed of Smith's writings, interpretations, and editorial comments by Smith's secretaries, scribes, and after Smith's death, historians of LDS Church. Written between 1839 and 1856.
  • NAME OF THE CHURCH: “The Church of the Latter Day Saints”

    A conference of Church leaders sustains a motion from Sidney Rigdon and Newel K. Whitney that the name of the Church would be changed to “The Church of the Latter Day Saints.” Oliver Cowdery also referenced the nicknames saying, “The world, either out of contempt and ridicule, or to distinguish us from others, have been lavish in bestowing the title of ‘Mormonite but WE do not accept the above title.”
  • TITHING: Joseph and Oliver Promise a Tenth

    Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery made a covenant on November 29, 1834, in which they promised to give a tenth of all that they received to the poor in the church.
  • Doctrine and Covenants, First Edition

    The first part of the book contained the seven Lectures on Faith, while the second part was a compilation of Joseph Smith’s revelations. This second portion was an expanded version of the Book of Commandments and contained 103 sections. The volume, titled the Doctrine and Covenants, was published in 1835 and became the Church’s third standard work.
  • Joseph Marries Fanny Alger L8Q9-HX8

    abt. 1835/1836
    Kirtland, Geauga, Ohio, United States
  • Chandler's Mummies and Papyri

    In late June or early July 1835, Chandler exhibited his collection in Kirtland, Ohio. A promotional flyer created by Chandler states that the mummies "may have lived in the days of Jacob, Moses, or David". Smith said that the scrolls contained the writings of Abraham and Joseph, as well as a short history of an Egyptian princess named "Katumin". Smith, Joseph Coe, and Simeon Andrews soon purchased the four mummies and at least five papyrus documents for $2,400 (equivalent to $63,000 in 2021).
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    BoA: Translating an alphabet and grammar

    Between July and November 1835 Smith began "translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham, and arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language as practiced by the ancients."
  • First Vision Account Given to Robert Matthews

  • First Vision Account Given to Erastus Holmes

  • Temple: Kirtland Dedicated

    One thousand worshippers begin a week of temple dedication ceremonies in Kirtland. Witnesses report rushing winds, a pillar of fire, and the presence of angels. During the dedication, the prophet and Oliver Cowdery, retired behind a veil that separates an elevated pulpit from the rest of the temple, see Jesus, accepting the temple as a place where he will manifest himself. In addition, they see Moses, Elijah, and Elias, who commit keys of the gathering of Israel and a new dispensation.
  • Kirtland Safety Society Bank Formed

    Smith forms the Kirtland Safety Society Bank, but a national economic panic begins in March 1837 and soon leads to his bank's collapse. Accusations of both financial and sexual impropriety arise.
  • Book of Mormon, Second Edition

    After the Church’s printing operations moved to Kirtland, Ohio, Parley P. Pratt and John Goodson requested Joseph Smith’s permission to print a second edition of the Book of Mormon. In addition to giving permission, Joseph Smith and trusted associates also made grammatical corrections and refined the language.
  • TITHING: Defined by Presiding Bishop

    Presiding bishopric defines tithing as two percent of one's net worth, after deducting debts. "Believing that voluntary tithing is better than Forced taxes," the Missouri bishopric wrote, tithing would be "two cents on the dollar or one fiftieth of what we are worth after deducting what we owe."
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    A semi-official history of the early Latter Day Saint movement during the lifetime of Joseph Smith. It is largely composed of Smith's writings, interpretations, and editorial comments by Smith's secretaries, scribes, and after Smith's death, historians of LDS Church. Written between 1839 and 1856.
  • Escape from Kirtland

    Smith escapes Kirtland and heads for Missouri, arriving there with his family in March. Many of the Ohio Mormons follow, and soon there are thousands of church members in the settlement of Far West in Caldwell County.
  • First Vision Account in Manuscript History

    In 1838, Joseph gave what was to become the canonized version of his First Vision in the Manuscript History of the Church.
  • Oliver Cowdery Excommunicated

    Smith excommunicates Cowdery, who has turned against him, accusing him of adultery with Fanny Alger, a teenage servant in his home.
  • The Name of the Church

    The church's name was adopted through a revelation. Joseph Smith received a revelation from the Lord about the official name of the Church. Now known as Doctrine and Covenants 115, the revelation states, “For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” This hybrid of the original name of the Church and the 1834 variation had already been gaining prominence amongst the Saints.
  • NAME OF THE CHURCH: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”

    Four years later, Joseph Smith received a revelation from the Lord about the official name of the Church. Now known as Doctrine and Covenants 115, the revelation states, “For thus shall my church be called in the last days..."
  • D&C 13

    An extract from Joseph Smith’s history recounting the ordination of the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic Priesthood near Harmony, Pennsylvania, May 15, 1829. (Excerpted from History, vol. A-1, p. 17, circa May 1838)
  • TITHING: Defined in D&C 119

    “And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.”
    (D&C 119:3-4) “Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties..."
    (D&C 119:5)
  • TITHING: Interest interpretation

    Bishop Partridge seems to be interpreting tithing literally based on the verse “shall pay one-tenth of all their interest (increase) annually” and is suggesting that one pay 10% of the interest earned on one’s net worth invested at 6% Bishop Partridge “If a man is worth a $1000, the interest on that would be $60, and 1/10 of the interest will of course be $6.— thus you see the plan.” Bishop Edward Partridge letter to Newel K. Whitney
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    Missouri Mormon War

    On August 6, 1838, the war began following a brawl at an election in Gallatin, resulting in increased organized violence between Mormons and non-Mormons. On November 1, 1838, Smith surrendered at Far West, the church's headquarters, ending the war. Smith was charged for treason but escaped custody and fled to Illinois with the remainder of the estimated 10,000 Missouri Mormons, establishing the new settlement of Nauvoo.
  • Missouri Extermination Order

    The non-Mormon Governor from Missouri, Lilburn Boggs, issued Missouri Executive Order 44 on 27 October.
  • Haun’s Mill Massacre

    Stirred up by the governor's decree, an anti-Mormon mob massacres church members at Haun's Mill, killing 17, including unarmed children. Opposition to the Mormons rages.
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    Liberty Jail

    After the surrender of Mormon forces, Smith surrendered to authorities, was arrested and imprisoned in the jail at Liberty, Missouri. On November 12, 1838, Judge King found "probable cause to believe that Joseph Smith [was]... guilty of Overt acts of Treason". After a hearing conducted April 9–11, Smith was indicted by grand jury on the charge of treason. On April 16, Smith and his companions were permitted to escape while they were being escorted to Boone County. Smith fled to Illinois.
  • Nauvoo Illinois

    While being moved from one trial location to another, Smith is permitted to escape and makes his way to Illinois. There he buys land for a new settlement named Nauvoo on the banks of the Mississippi River, about 200 miles from St. Louis.
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    A semi-official history of the early Latter Day Saint movement during the lifetime of Joseph Smith. It is largely composed of Smith's writings, interpretations, and editorial comments by Smith's secretaries, scribes, and after Smith's death, historians of LDS Church. Written between 1839 and 1856.
  • Book of Mormon, Third Edition

    Church leaders authorized another edition of the Book of Mormon, as demand for the book was increasing. Joseph Smith carefully compared the original manuscript with Cowdery’s printer’s manuscript. He corrected some copying errors and made additional grammatical adjustments and minor revisions. The new edition was printed in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1840, additional copies being printed in Nauvoo in 1841 and 1842. The original Book of Mormon manuscript placed in cornerstone of the Nauvoo House.
  • An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions by Orson Pratt

    In 1840, he published a pamphlet called "An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions". It begins with an account of Joseph's first vision.
  • PROCLAMATION to the Saints Scattered Abroad

    This proclamation encouraged the growing number of English converts to relocate to Nauvoo, Illinois. Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in England had begun to organize the emigration of church members, some of whom had already arrived in Nauvoo. JOSEPH SMITH
    Presidents of the Church
  • Joseph Marries Louisa Beman KWVC-BP5

  • Interview of William Smith by James Murdock

    As a passenger on a steam-boat on the Ohio River, James Murdock had an encounter with William Smith. The two had a conversation in which William related the story of Joseph Smith's First Vision as he understood it.
  • Joseph Marries Zina Diantha Huntington KWNK-B28

  • Joseph Marries Presendia Lathrop Huntington KWV9-HF4

  • Joseph Smith's Letter to John Wentworth

    In what is commonly called the Wentworth Letter, he gives an account of his first vision:
  • Joseph Marries Marinda Nancy Johnson KWJR-T8C

  • Joseph Marries Agnes Moulton Coolbrith LC1T-LMT

  • Joseph Marries Mary Elizabeth Rollins KWV9-HG6

  • Joseph Marries Sylvia Porter Sessions KWV9-HF6

  • BoA: Facsimile No. 1; Abraham 1 - 2:18 Published

    Book of Abraham was published serially in the Latter Day Saint movement newspaper Times and Seasons in 1842.
  • Joseph Marries Patty Bartlett KWJT-QWJ

  • BoA: Facsimile No. 2; Abraham 2:19 - 5:21 Published

    Book of Abraham was published serially in the Latter Day Saint movement newspaper Times and Seasons in 1842.
  • Relief Society Founded

    Emma Hale Smith founded the Relief Society together with Joseph Smith on 17 March.
  • Happiness Letter

    JS wrote to Nancy Rigdon, daughter of Sidney Rigdon, a letter that JS purportedly wrote to Rigdon to explain the doctrine of plural marriage and justify a proposal. As in the cases of most of his verifiable plural marriages, JS was silent about this issue—neither confirming nor denying either his authorship of the letter or the allegation that he approached Nancy Rigdon to be a plural wife. If JS proposed that Rigdon become his plural wife, she refused his invitation.
  • Endowment Introduced in Nauvoo

    Part of it involved washings and anointings, similar to the ordinances given in the Kirtland temple. Men were given a sacred undergarment The Creation and the Garden of Eden,
    Step-by-step through the plan of salvation,
    Received knowledge that would enable them to return to the presence of God. Along the way, the men made covenants to live righteous, chaste lives and dedicate themselves to serving the Lord.
  • BoA: Facsimile No. 3 Published

    Book of Abraham was published serially in the Latter Day Saint movement newspaper Times and Seasons in 1842.
  • Period: to


    A semi-official history of the early Latter Day Saint movement during the lifetime of Joseph Smith. It is largely composed of Smith's writings, interpretations, and editorial comments by Smith's secretaries, scribes, and after Smith's death, historians of LDS Church. Written between 1839 and 1856.
  • Joseph Marries Eliza Roxcy Snow KWVC-BTV

  • Joseph Marries Delcena Didamia Johnson KWJP-8X9

  • Joseph Marries Sarah Ann Whitney KWV9-HFC

  • Joseph Marries Martha McBride KWJY-F33

  • Temple Ceremony Developments

    Eternal marriage (sealings) and the second anointing are instituted. Women receive the endowment for the first time.
  • Joseph Marries Hannah Ells LK54-R49

  • Joseph Marries Ruth Daggett Vose K2SN-8J3

    Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, United States
    February 1843
  • Joseph Marries Flora Ann Woodworth K657-XP9

  • Joseph Marries Emily Dow Partridge KWJ5-C96

  • Joseph Marries Eliza Maria Partridge KWJR-TQY

  • Joseph Marries Almera Woodward Johnson K2XP-Q2Z

    April/May 1843
    Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, United States
  • Joseph Marries Helen Mar Kimball KWJR-BZX

  • Joseph Marries Lucy Walker KWVH-X95

  • Joseph Marries Sarah Lawrence LKVY-VY6

  • Joseph Marries Maria Lawrence KWVC-132

  • Joseph Sealed to Emma

    Emma, to whom he had been sealed for time and eternity on May 28, 1843
  • Joseph Marries Elvira Annie Cowles KWJT-TH5

  • Joseph Marries Olive Gray Frost KWVZ-G28

    Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, United States
    Summer 1843
  • Levi Richards Journal

    A physician to Joseph Smith, member of the Council of Fifty, and a patriarch in the church, Levi Richards recorded in his journal a brief summary of one of Joseph Smith's sermons wherein the story of the First Vision was told.
  • Joseph Marries Rhoda Richards LKVY-VGF

  • Joseph Marries Desdemona Wadsworth Fullmer K2XP-QVN

    July 1843
    Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, United States
  • NAME OF THE CHURCH: “Mormon” and “Mormonism”

    Joseph Smith uses the phrase “Mormon” and “Mormonism” multiple times in a journal entry. It is evidence that Church leaders had varying levels of comfort using the terms in a positive light; in the coming years, leaders would continue to use “Mormon” and “Mormonism” in both private and public.
  • Baptism for the Dead and Polygamy

    Smith announces revelations about two new practices. First, Baptism for the Dead. [This practice is disclosed as a part of three different revelations.] Second, polygamy, or plural marriage, is not only permissible but in certain cases required. And although the doctrine will not be publicly announced for nearly a decade, rumors quickly spread, increasing anti-Mormon feeling. Joseph Smith will eventually have more than 25 wives, while Young will take 20 wives, and father 57 children.
  • Period: to


    A semi-official history of the early Latter Day Saint movement during the lifetime of Joseph Smith. It is largely composed of Smith's writings, interpretations, and editorial comments by Smith's secretaries, scribes, and after Smith's death, historians of LDS Church. Written between 1839 and 1856.
  • Joseph Marries Melissa Lott KWJJ-1T2

  • SECOND ANOINTING: Joseph and Emma (First)

    "Baurak Ale [a code name for Joseph Smith] was by common consent, & unanimous voice chosen president of the quorum. & anointed & ord[ained] to the highest and holiest order of the priesthood (& companion)." His "companion" was his wife, Emma, to whom he had been sealed for time and eternity four months earlier on May 28.

  • Joseph Marries Fanny Young KWBB-NBJ


    With Mary Ann Young
  • Doctrine and Covenants, Second Edition

    Ebenezer Robinson began typesetting a new edition in 1841. Joseph Smith eventually purchased Robinson’s printing operation, and Elders John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff supervised the remainder of the typesetting and stereotyping. The edition reprinted the contents of the 1835 edition along with seven new items from Joseph Smith. A final tribute to Joseph and his brother Hyrum was included as the last section in the 1844 Doctrine and Covenants, now section 135.
  • Joseph Marries Nancy Mariah Winchester K2M4-VG3

    Two late sources support that at some point she might have been sealed to Joseph Smith. The first is her inclusion by Eliza R. Snow on a handwritten list penned in 1886. The other piece of evidence supporting Nancy’s position as a plural wife of the Prophet comes from Orson F. Whitney. No known marriage date.

    WITH Vilate Kimball


    With Phoebe Woodruff
  • Joseph Announces Presidential Campaign

    Smith declares that he will run for president of the United States, announces in a sermon that those who obey God's commands can become gods themselves, and orders the destruction of an opposition newspaper, the Nauvoo Expositor. The ensuing outcry leads to criminal charges, and after starting to flee, Smith changes his mind and surrenders to state authorities.


    “Geo. A. Smith & wife Bathsheba W. Bigler received their Second anointing, which was administered by Brigham Young Prest of this Twelve.” Wilford Woodruff noted in his journal on this date that Smith and his wife “have been quite unwell.” (Woodruff, Journal, 31 Jan. 1844)
  • Joseph Smith Killed

    While in jail, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum are shot and killed by members of a mob. No one will ever be convicted of the crime.
  • Period: to


  • TITHING: "a tenth of all their property and money"

    Quorum of the Twelve issued an epistle requiring all Mormons to immediately pay "a tenth of all their property and money . . . and then let them continue to pay in a tenth of their income from that time forth." There was no exemption for Mormons who had already paid one-tenth of their property upon conversion.

    Quorum of the Twelve epistle reemphasized "the duty of all saints to tithe themselves one-tenth of all they possess when they enter into the new and everlasting covenant: and then one-tenth of their interest, or income, yearly afterward."
  • PROCLAMATION of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    Issued by the Twelve, since the martyrdom dissolved the First Presidency, the proclamation was printed and distributed on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. It proclaimed that God had spoken from the heavens and restored the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth and included a voice of warning as well as an invitation.
  • Endowments Begin for Average Members

    Brigham Young gave the first Endowments to church members, on 10 December. As the temple neared completion, Brigham Young began administering the endowment to saints in the upper story of the Nauvoo temple. Since the Kirtland and Nauvoo temples prioritized gathering space for congregations, the ordinances were relegated to the upper, more secluded portions of the temple. They used potted plants, paintings, and curtains to decorate and partition the space for the segments of the ceremony.
  • Escape from Nauvoo Begins

    On 4 February, the Mormon pioneers began their escape under the direction of Brigham Young.
  • Temple: Nauvoo Dedicated

    On 30 April, the Nauvoo Temple was completed and dedicated. During the days and nights of the following ten months, great numbers of Latter-day Saints go through the temple to receive their "Endowments" and a substantial number of polygamous marriages are solemnized in its sealing rooms.
  • TITHING: Support family first

    “The celestial law requires one-tenth part of all a man’s substance which he possesses at the time he comes into the church, and one-tenth part of his annual increase ever after(See D&C 119:4). IF IT REQUIRES ALL MAN CAN EARN TO SUPPORT HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY, HE IS NOT TITHED AT ALL. The celestial law does not take the mother’s and children’s bread, neither ought else which they really need for their comfort." Millennial Star 1847 (Orson Hyde Editor)
  • TITHING: Further Understood to be paid from surplus

    “The celestial law requires one-tenth part of all a man’s substance which he possesses at the time he comes into the church (See D&C 119:1), and one-tenth part of his annual increase ever after(See D&C 119:4). IF IT REQUIRES ALL MAN CAN EARN TO SUPPORT HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY, HE IS NOT TITHED AT ALL. The celestial law does not take the mother’s and children’s bread, neither ought else which they really need for their comfort." The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star Vol. 09
  • Period: to

    Emigration to Salt Lake

    The period of overland emigration of the Mormon pioneers is generally defined as 1847 through 1868. That is when organized companies traveled to Utah by wagon or handcart. After the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, Latter-day Saint emigrants who traveled to Utah generally came by train.
  • Revelation to Brigham Young

    D&C 136
  • Pioneers Arrive in Salt Lake

    Pioneer Day: On 24 July, the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Brigham, who will be made church president later in the year, confirms that this is where the Mormons will settle, beyond the boundaries of the United States. His followers promptly mark off an acre that will be reserved for a temple and then begin laying out city streets and setting up irrigation systems.
  • EPISTLE of the Twelve

    Written and signed prior to conference. On December 27, 1847, Brigham Young as President was sustained. The only signatory on this Epistle is Young, who signed in behalf of the Apostles. - what transpired between the time the Church left Nauvoo and the Young's return from Salt Lake to Winter Quarters;- instructions for the safe immediate gathering of the saints to the Great Basin;- warned about apostates and dissenters;- exhorted to follow the First Presidency and the Twelve
  • Period: to


  • Mormon Trail Exodus

  • State of Deseret Rejected

    The provisional State of Deseret was organized, but was rejected by the United States Congress. The Utah Territory was proposed instead.
  • Utah Territory Established

    Compromise of 1850 makes Utah a territory.
  • Pearl of Great Price, Liverpool Edition

    In 1851, while serving as president of the British Mission, Elder Franklin D. Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve compiled a selection of Church doctrines and teachings, portions of Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible, part of Joseph’s translation associated with Egyptian papyri (the book of Abraham), and extracts from Joseph Smith’s history. The volume was published as the Pearl of Great Price.
  • Book of Moses Pages

    The first pages of the Book of Moses were published.
  • TITHING AND WORD OF WISDOM: Excommunication for failure

    A special conference at Salt Lake City voted to accept excommunication as punishment for non-payment of tithing and non-observance of the Word of Wisdom's prohibition of tobacco and spirituous drink. Neither requirement was enforced consistently or often.
  • Orson Pratt Reveals Polygamy

    Orson Pratt's public announcement in 1852 that Mormons practiced polygamy unnerved Americans. Pratt was one of the Church's most voluble officials and over the next few decades would become the most ardent advocate of polygamy. In the wake of Pratt's sermon, Mormonism became a national “question” almost at once.
  • Period: to

    Temple: Salt Lake Construction

  • BoA: Mummies and Papyri Sold

    Smith's widow, Emma Hale Smith Bidamon, her second husband Lewis C. Bidamon, and her son Joseph Smith III, sold "four Egyptian mummies with the records with them" to Abel Combs on May 26, 1856. Combs later sold two of the mummies, along with some papyri, to the St. Louis Museum.
  • Mountain Meadows Massacre

    Mormon militia led by John Lee and acting in tandem with a group of Native Americans attack a wagon train of settlers from Arkansas, slaughtering 120 men, women, and children in what becomes known as the Mountain Meadows massacre. Only 17 children under the age of eight are spared. Young's possible role in authorizing the atrocity will be hotly debated over the years, but the evidence suggests that at the very least, he covered up the truth of the crimes committed.
  • PROCLAMATION of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles

    In 1863, the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles had also been informed of some false teachings of Elder Amasa Lyman, primarily regarding the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which they endeavored to address and correct. This proclamation was sent to Church members to correct certain theories about the nature of God and established the order that new doctrine is to be announced only by the First Presidency.
  • SECOND ANOINTING: For plural marriages

    Daniel H. Wells and his four wives received their second anointing from Brigham Young who had perfumed the consecrated oil for this ordinance.
  • SECOND ANOINTING: For plural marriages

    George Q. Cannon and his three wives received their second anointing
  • BoA: Great Chicago Fire

    Upon the closing of the St. Louis Museum, these artifacts were purchased by Joseph H. Wood and found their way to the Chicago Museum in about 1863, and were promptly put on display. The museum and all its contents were burned in 1871 during the Great Chicago Fire. After the fire, it was believed that all the sources for the book had been lost.
  • BYU Founded

    Brigham Young University was founded by Karl G. Maeser.
  • Doctrine and Covenants, Orson Pratt Revision

    Elder Orson Pratt, under the direction of President Brigham Young, made numerous adjustments in the 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. He added real names after substitute names (which had been used in earlier editions to protect some Saints). He also reordered the revelations into a more chronological order and divided the revelations into more standardized, short verses. In addition, he wrote new section headings, created a table of contents, and added 26 sections.
  • Proxy Endowments

    The first recorded endowments for the dead are performed.
  • Circular of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    Described by Elder George Q. Cannon: "He set the priesthood in order as it has never before ... He defined the duties of the apostles, he defined the duties of the seventies, he defined the duties of the high priests, the duties of the elders and those of the lesser priesthood, with plainness and distinction and power - the power of God - in a way that it is left on record in such unmistakable language that no one need err who has the spirit of God resting down upon him."
  • 1877 EPISTLE

    1. Pay due tribute to President Brigham Young
    2. Succession
    3. instructions for work on the Salt Lake, Logan, and Manti Temples.
    4. Message about the need for revelation, both in the Church and in individuals’ lives. Revelation inspires and moves us to carry on God’s work. Revelation is necessary so that we “know the voice of the True Shepherd, and [will] not be deceived by pretenders.”
  • 1878 • Pearl of Great Price, Utah Edition

    In 1878, the second edition of the Pearl of Great Price was published in Salt Lake City. A few more items were added to the volume at this time, including the full text of present-day Moses and Doctrine and Covenants 132. The volume was canonized two years later during the Church’s general conference, becoming the Church’s fourth standard work.
  • Primary Association Formed

    Primary was first organized in 1878 by Aurelia Spencer Rogers in Farmington, Utah, and adopted church-wide in 1880 under the direction of Louie B. Felt who served as the president of the organization through 1925. Rogers was concerned because younger Latter-day Saint children had too much unsupervised time due to the long hours that fathers and older sons kept on the farms and mothers and older daughters in the home. Children were given lessons on faith, manners, obedience, and other principles.
  • Book of Mormon, Orson Pratt Revision

    The first edition of the Book of Mormon had consisted of large, unnumbered chapters, which made citing a particular passage difficult. In subsequent editions, some of these large paragraphs were divided and verse numbers were assigned to the paragraphs, but the paragraphs were still generally long. In 1879, Elder Orson Pratt divided the Book of Mormon into small chapters and verses for easier reference. His numbering system became the standard for all later Latter-day Saint editions.
  • Doctrine and Covenants, Orson Pratt Revision

    In 1879, Elder Orson Pratt, while in England, published a new edition of the Doctrine and Covenants that matched the format of the newly printed edition of the Book of Mormon. In this new edition, the lengthy table of contents was replaced with an index, and cross-references were added in footnotes. A set of electrotype plates was sent to Utah and used in the printing of the 1880 edition. This text became the standard for the next four decades.
  • BoA: Pearl of Great Price Accepted

    The Pearl of Great Price was accepted as scripture by the church during general conference on 10 October. As the church expanded through the United States and Europe, the need arose to make certain important teachings available to everyone, including Joseph Smith-History. This history includes the most well-known version of Joseph Smith's vision and was canonized in 1880.
  • Period: to


  • Edmunds Act

    The Edmunds Act declares polygamy a felony and disenfranchises all who practice it. By 1893 more than a thousand Mormons have been convicted of "unlawful cohabitation." Amon those convicted:
    Lorenzo Snow — 1885
    George Q. Cannon — 1888
    Heber J. Grant — 1899
    Joseph F. Smith — 1906
  • Edmunds-Tucker Act

    The Edmunds-Tucker Act disincorporates the Mormon Church and gives the federal government all church property above $50,000. The Supreme Court will subsequently uphold this law.
  • October Woodruff EPISTLE

    Recounts Church history and revealed principles relative to the succession of apostolic leadership following the death of a President of the Church. Various spiritual, ecclesiastical, and temporal matters
  • Period: to


  • 1889 Official DECLARATION (Manifesto of the Presidency and Apostles) Published

    Church leaders determined to issue a “Manifesto” on December 12, 1889, in an effort to set the record straight on some of the “doctrines, aims, and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” that seemed to consistently trouble those outside the Church.
    • Apostates and Blood Atonement
    • Nothing hostile in temples
    • Church is not an independent, temporal kingdom
    • Church and civil government are distinct
  • "Official Declaration 1" (Manifesto) Written

    On the morning of September 24, 1890, President Woodruff entered the First Presidency’s office with new resolve. His journal entry for that date states: “I have arrived at a point in the history of the Church... when I am under the necessity of acting for the temporal salvation of the church.” He presented papers that he had written, which contained the text that would become the Manifesto: To Whom it may concern:
    Press dispatches having been sent for political purposes...
  • Official DECLARATION (Manifesto) Adopted by the Church

    Adopted by the Church at its general conference, October 6, 1890
  • Temple: Salt Lake Dedicated

    The Salt Lake Temple was dedicated on 6 April, exactly forty years after construction began.
  • Utah Statehood

  • Political Rule of the Church (The “Political Manifesto”)

    General Authorities issued a formal statement, known as the political rule of the Church or the Political Manifesto. It emphasized the separation of church and state and the Church’s intention not to encroach upon the political rights of any citizens. The Political Manifesto has continued to be the standard that governs the actions of the General Authorities with respect to politics. “To the Saints,” The Deseret Weekly, 11 Apr. 1896, p. 533
  • Period: to


  • TITHING: No "conversion" tithe

    Church President Lorenzo Snow publicly announced a revelation that limited the law of tithing to one-tenth of annual income with no massive payment upon conversion. From Snow's time until the present, Mormons have been allowed to decide whether to pay tithing on their gross income or net income
  • TITHING: Snow..."who has means" and "of their income"

    "I plead with you in the name of the Lord, and I pray that every man, woman and child who has means shall pay one-tenth of their income as a tithing."
  • SECOND ANOINTING: For those who will never apostatize

    Lorenzo Snow, fourth Church president, stated "that persons who are recommended for second anointings should be those who have made an exceptional record, that they are persons who will never apostatize."
  • Period: to


  • Period: to


    Published in its entirety with extensive annotations and edits by B. H. Roberts as part of a seven-volume series beginning in 1902 as History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1902 VOLUME 1
    1904 VOLUME 2
    1905 VOLUME 3
    1908 VOLUME 4
    1909 VOLUME 5
    1912 VOLUME 6
    1932 VOLUME 7
  • Period: to

    Reed Smoot Hearings

    The Reed Smoot hearings were a series of Congressional hearings on whether the United States Senate should seat U.S. Senator Reed Smoot, who was elected by the Utah legislature in 1903. Smoot was an apostle in the LDS Church, one of the top 15 leaders of the church. The vote fell short of a two-thirds majority needed to expel a member so he retained his seat. Popular opposition against Smoot's seating in the Senate centered on the church's practice of polygamy.
  • Official Statement (Second Manifesto) Presented to the Church

    The "Second Manifesto" was a 1904 declaration made by Joseph F. Smith, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), in which Smith stated the church was no longer sanctioning marriages that violated the laws of the land and set down the principle that those entering into or solemnizing polygamous marriages would be excommunicated from the church.
  • Statement on Plural Marriage ("Second Manifesto")

    The "Second Manifesto" was a 1904 declaration made by Joseph F. Smith, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), in which Smith stated the church was no longer sanctioning marriages that violated the laws of the land and set down the principle that those entering into or solemnizing polygamous marriages would be excommunicated from the church. The "Second Manifesto" was announced at the general conference of the church held on April 6, 1904.
  • EXPOSITION: "One Mighty and Strong"

    By 1905, no fewer than eight individuals had used D&C 85 to identify either themselves or someone else as “the one mighty and strong” who would “set in order the house of God” (D&C 85:7) In keeping with the doctrine that the First Presidency has been vested with priesthood keys as the highest quorum of the priesthood to declare the doctrine of the Church, this statement was issued.
  • An Address -The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to the World

    Although the efforts to unseat Apostle and Senator Reed Smoot had ended in Senator Smoot’s favor on February 20, 1907, the turmoil and negative publicity generated against the Church during the last few years was of concern to the leadership of the Church. Thus, the First Presidency believed it would be beneficial to issue this Declaration, “In the hope of correcting misrepresentation, and of establishing a more perfect understanding respecting ourselves and our religion” (Declaration, p. 1).
  • TITHING: Joseph F. Smith "One day we will not have to ask"

    I want to say to you... we expect to see the day when we will not have to ask you for one dollar of donation for any purpose, except that which you volunteer to give of your own accord, because we will have tithes sufficient in the storehouse of the Lord to pay everything that is needful for the advancement of the kingdom of God. I want to live to see that day, if the Lord will spare my life... That is the true policy, the true purpose of the Lord in the management of the affairs of His Church.
  • The Origin of Man

    While the Exposition does not make any statement regarding the theory of evolution as a whole, when it comes to the origin of humankind, it clearly asserts that ideas that “Adam was not the first man upon this earth, and that the original human being was a development from lower orders of the animal creation...are the theories of men” .
  • TITHING: Enforced by recommend

    Church president announced it was necessary to comply with this greatly reduced law of tithing in order to have temple recommend.

  • TITHING: "Labor tithing" and "When Payment Should be Made"

    "One tenth of a person's working hours or days has always been accepted as a legitimate payment." "The proper time to pay tithes is when one's income is received." 1913 Church Handbook
  • STATEMENT: A Warning Voice

    The 1913 Statement was originally published in the Deseret News on August 2, 1913, p. 4. It was prefaced by an editorial entitled, “A Timely Warning,” which mentioned the “dream mine” specifically. “No person has the right to induce his fellow members of the Church to engage in speculations or take stock in ventures of any kind on the specious claim of Divine revelation, or vision, or dream, especially when it is in opposition to the voice of recognized authority, local or general.”
  • Vision to Joseph F. Smith

    D&C 138
  • Period: to


  • Doctrine and Covenants, Apostles Revision

    The 1921 Doctrine and Covenants was produced by the same committee of Apostles that supervised the 1920 edition of the Book of Mormon. They removed the Lectures on Faith from the book, arranged the text in a double-column format as with other standard works, expanded the section headings and index, and revised the footnotes.
  • Book of Mormon, Apostles Revision

    The 1920 edition of the Book of Mormon (actually printed in 1921) was produced by a committee of Apostles. They made grammatical adjustments, standardized the titles of the books of Nephi to remove ambiguity, and put the text in a double-column format to match the presentation of the Bible. They also created chapter summaries for every chapter, included a guide for pronouncing names in the Book of Mormon, added a table of contents, and revised the footnotes and the index.
  • Pearl of Great Price, Apostles Revision

    In 1902, James E. Talmage, under the direction of the First Presidency, revised the Pearl of Great Price, removing some content that was duplicated in the Doctrine and Covenants, dividing it into chapters and verses, and adding footnote references. In 1921, Elder Talmage, now an Apostle, continued to make improvements, adding an index and putting the text in the double-column format.
  • Temple Garment Change

    The Church approves a shorter garment for optional use outside the temple (extending to the elbows and knees rather than the wrists and ankles). However, the longer garment remains mandatory for use in the temple.
  • TITHING: "When tithes should be paid" and "Exemptions"

    The proper time to pay tithes is when one's income is received. Aged persons without incomes,
    women whose husbands are not members,
    women who have no income separate from husbands,
    and persons who 'pay too late'...
    should not be listed as non-tithepayers.
  • First Presidency Address (Hundredth Anniversary)

    Only the members of the First Presidency appear as signatories on the 1930 Statement. The 1930 Statement presents a narrative that has become a template for Latter-day Saints’ understanding of the Church and a pattern for their proselyting. Christ's efforts to establish His Church, “the Great Apostasy,” the Restoration (First Vision, coming forth of the Book of Mormon, restoration of Priesthood authority and keys, and organization of Christ’s Church.)
  • Message from the First Presidency (On War)

    The brief 1939 Statement introduces themes that are expounded upon in the later documents.
    • Condemnation of War
    • The sixth commandment
    • Love one another and banish hate
    • Hope for an early close to the war
  • Message of the First Presidency (On War)

    On living the gospel in times of war.
  • Message of the First Presidency (On War)

    ust six months later, as more countries were impacted by the spread of war and casualties continued to climb, the First Presidency issued a third Statement at the semi-annual general conference of the Church. This statement is addressed specifically to “the Saints in every land.” On living the gospel in times of war.
  • THITHING: "Who should pay" and "Exemptions"

    Members who have: income, increase from property, wages, salaries, gifts should pay one-tenth of their "increase." Children encouraged to pay, no matter how small. Exemptions similar to 1923, but adds "persons entirely dependent on relief."
  • Spanish Language Endowment

    The endowment is administered in Spanish in the Mesa, Arizona temple, the first time the ceremony is administered in a language other than English.
  • Period: to


  • Period: to


  • MISSIONARY DISCUSSIONS: A Systematic Program for Teaching the Gospel

    Though published by the Church, A Systematic Program was designated for optional use. The program consisted of only seven lessons—a dramatic reduction from previous plans. The lessons took the form of Socratic dialogues between missionaries and a hypothetical investigator named “Mr. Brady.” The lessons relied heavily on logic and scriptural prooftexts, and the dialogues had a tendency to be patronizing and manipulative.
  • Endowment on Film (Apx. 1955)

    The Switzerland Temple (dedicated in 1955) was centrally located and unique in Europe: it needed to serve saints in many languages. David O. McKay approached Gordon Hinckley, and asked him to come up with a way to administer the endowment in multiple languages. His solution was a filmed version of the ceremony. Instead of temple workers serving as actors, a film would tell a large portion of the story.
  • TITHING: "Who should pay" and "When tithing should be paid"

    Members should pay one-tenth of their interest (income) annually. Exemptions simplified to those without income and those entirely dependent on relief. Continues to state tithing should be paid when income is received.
  • Beginning of the Modern Era of Correlation

    The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve sent a letter authorizing the General Priesthood Committee, directed by Elder Lee, to begin a study of the curriculum of both priesthood and auxiliary organizations.
  • MISSIONARY DISCUSSIONS: A Uniform System for Teaching Investigators

    These were the first missionary discussions intended for mandatory churchwide use. They were also the first to be called “discussions” rather than“lessons.” Six in number, the 1961 discussions were written as a series of dialogues with the investigator, now named Mr.Brown, who was led via question-and-answer into agreement with a series of numbered conclusions. Flannel board images provided a visual supplement to the spoken presentation.

    A tithe is:
    o one-tenth of a wage-earners gross income.
    o one-tenth of a professional man's income after expenses
    o one-tenth of a farmer's income after expenses
    o one-tenth of an individual's interest
  • BoA: "Heusser fragments" found

    Aziz S. Atiya, a Coptic scholar from the University of Utah, came across the "Heusser fragments" at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA). He recognized one as the vignette known as Facsmile 1 from The Pearl of Great Price, and informed LDS Church leaders.
  • BoA: Church Acquires Papyrus Fragments

    The LDS Church was able to procure the fragments from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The transfer included ten pieces of papyri, including the original of Facsimile 1. JSP I Book of Abraham
    JSP X Book of Abraham
    JSP XI Book of Abraham
    JSP II Book of Joseph
    JSP IV Book of Joseph
    JSP V Book of Joseph
    JSP VI Book of Joseph
    JSP VII Book of Joseph
    JSP VIII Book of Joseph
    JSP IX "Church Historian's Fragment"
  • TITHING: "What tithing is"

    What tithing is: "See Doctrine and Covenants 119."
  • Church Educational System (CES) Formed

    The Church Educational System (CES) was formed in 1970 in a reorganization of the earlier Unified Church School System. The system included primary and secondary educational institutions operated by the Church, including seminaries and institutes of religion. The system is administered by the Commissioner of Church Education, and operates under the direction of the Board of Education of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Period: to


  • TITHING: First Presidency Letter

    “For your guidance in this matter, please be advised that we have uniformly replied that the simplest statement we know of is that statement of the Lord himself that the members of the Church should pay one-tenth of all their interest annually, which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this. We feel that every member of the Church should be entitled to make his own decision as to what he thinks he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly.”
  • TITHING: First Presidency Letter "What is a proper tithe?"

    "Members of the church should pay one tenth of their interest annually" which is understood to mean 'income.' No one is justified in making any other statement than this. We feel that every member of the Church is entitled to make his own decision as to what he thinks he owes the Lord and to make payment accordingly. JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH
  • BoA: New York Times "Mormons' Book of Abraham Called Product of Imagination"

  • NAME OF THE CHURCH: “LDS Church” in General Conference

    Elder Milton R. Hunter uses the term “LDS Church” over the pulpit in General Conference for the first time. The term “LDS” has no definitive startpoint for usage in reference to the Saints. "Recently in South America, a lady missionary, who impressed me greatly, told me the story of her conversion to the LDS Church and her missionary call."
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  • MISSIONARY DISCUSSIONS: The Uniform System for Teaching Families

    These discussions, seven in all, were printed in a two-column format: the right hand contained the missionary’s presentation, while the facing left-hand page contained aids for teaching such as suggested scriptures and ideas for responding to objections. As in previous discussions, the missionaries posed questions to “Mr. Brown,” but his responses were not spelled out, as they had been in the 1952 and 1961 discussions, the questions posed were more open-ended. Flipcharts replaced flannel boards.
  • Period: to


  • TITHING: No significant change from 1970

    What tithing is: adds text of D&C 119
    Who should pay, when should be paid not changed.
  • Statement of the First Presidency regarding God's Love for All Mankind

    As the Church entered a remarkable era of expansion and growth around the world, this Statement from the First Presidency served to bolster Latter-day Saints’ affinity for all mankind as their brothers and sisters in the family of our Heavenly Father.
  • Revelation on Priesthood Announced

    The story led many national news broadcasts and was on the front page of most American newspapers. The announcement was formally approved by the church at the October 1978 general conference, and is included in LDS Church's edition of the Doctrine and Covenants as Official Declaration 2. The lifting of the ban on blacks makes the endowment available to all, regardless of race.
  • Revelation on Priesthood Accepted

    "...the First Presidency announced that a revelation had been received by President Spencer W. Kimball extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church. President Kimball has asked that I advise the conference that after he had received this revelation, which came to him after extended meditation and prayer in the sacred rooms of the holy temple..." Later added to the D&C as "Official Declaration 2"
  • Equal Rights Amendment Opposition

    The First Presidency letter explains that the Church is opposed to the Equal Rights Amendment because of its potential impact on the family and their concern that the amendment would blur distinctions between men and women and make it difficult for women to fulfil their roles as a “nurturer” and remain in the home. The LDS Church was not only concerned about the ERA’s impact on the family, but also the potential impact on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and women’s military service.
  • Church’s Edition of the King James Bible

    In 1979 and 1981, following a historic effort led by Elders Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer, and Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published its own edition of the King James Version of the Bible.
  • 3-Hour Block Begins

    In February 1980, the First Presidency announced the new consolidated meeting schedule. Previously tested by 15 stakes in a pilot program, the schedule began March 2 in the United States. There were several purposes, which called for all priesthood, Sunday School, sacrament, and former weekday meetings to be held within a three-hour block on Sunday. The change was "to provide more time for giving attention to family life, individual study, self improvement, and Christian service."
  • PROCLAMATION of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    President Spencer W. Kimball announced the proclamation during the Sunday morning session of the April 1980 general conference and the 150th anniversary of the organization of the Church. He and then-Elder Gordon B. Hinckley joined conference proceedings from the restored Peter Whitmer Sr. farmhouse, with Elder Hinckley reading the proclamation, which detailed the Church’s Restoration, progress, doctrine, mission, and message.
  • Hoffman's "Anthon Transcript" Forgery Purchased by the Church

    Hofmann constructed his version to fit Anthon's description of the document. Dean Jessee, an editor of Smith's papers and the best-known expert on handwriting and old documents, concluded the document was a Smith holograph. The Church announced the discovery of the Anthon Transcript in April and purchased it from Hofmann in October for a five dollar mormon gold coin, a first edition book of mormon and several pioneer currency. ($20,000)
  • Triple Combination

    In 1981, part two of the Church’s historic English scriptures project came to fruition with new editions of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Some textual corrections were made to the Book of Mormon based on close comparisons with early manuscripts. In addition, the phrase “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” was added to the title the following year.
  • "Joseph Smith III blessing" Forgery

    Hoffman's forged "Joseph Smith III blessing" is sold to the LDS church for about $20,000 in trade. (The church trades this document to the RLDS church on 18 March for an 1833 Book of Commandments.)
  • The Joseph Smith III Document and the Keys of the Kingdom

    By Elder Gordon B. Hinckley
    Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles [ed. note: This blessing was later discovered to be a forgery, a fact that in no way affects the history of priesthood succession in the Church or the wisdom of Elder’s Hinckley’s observations herein.] I think I should like to say a few words this afternoon about the recently discovered transcript of a blessing, reported to have been given January 17, 1844, by Joseph Smith to his eleven-year-old son.
  • TITHING 1983: No change

    No change from 1976.
  • Elder Poelman’s Famous Speech

    Salt Lake Tribune broke a story about changes in first quorum of seventy member Ronald E. Poelman’s 7 October 1984 General Conference address, “The Gospel and the Church,” with the article, “Elder’s Address Rewritten from Conference Version,” by Rodd G. Wagner (B-1, B-4). Wagner wrote that not only was the address heavily edited and partially rewritten for the November Ensign, it was also re-videotaped, with “the new version [being] spliced into the conference tape” for church distribution.
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  • MISSIONARY DISCUSSIONS: The Uniform System for Teaching the Gospel

    This system consisted of twelve discussions: six before baptism and six after. The discussions were printed in a two-column format. Integral to the discussions was a model of conversion called the commitment pattern: prepare investigators to feel the Spirit, invite them to make commitments, follow up and resolve concerns to help investigators keep their commitments. The commitment pattern was explained in the Missionary Guide, published in 1988, which missionaries were to study with companions.
  • Endowment Ceremony Changes

    Following surveys of members feelings, major revisions are made:
    All penalties, the five points of fellowship, and Adamic language are omitted.
    The preacher is eliminated, and a reference to Lucifer's "popes and priests."
    Women no longer covenant to obey the law of their husbands.
    Language which faults Eve for the Fall dropped.
    Many references to Adam are replaced with references to Adam and Eve.
    The lecture at the veil discontinued.
    Orders from Elohim repeated fewer times for brevity's sake.
  • Period: to


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  • The Family: A PROCLAMATION to the World

    The proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley at the general Relief Society meeting leading into October 1995 general conference, with the proclamation’s purpose to “warn and forewarn” the world and offering an official Church statement on family, marriage, gender roles, and human sexuality.
  • Teachings of Presidents: Brigham Young (1998-99)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • Teachings of Presidents: Joseph F. Smith (2000-2001)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • California and Same-Sex Marriage (Proposition 22)

    On the letterhead of the North America West Area of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Douglas L. Callister, an Area Authority Seventy for the North America West Area, addresses Stake Presidents. The letter suggests the effort has the approval of the First Presidency.
  • Teachings of Presidents: Harold B. Lee (2002)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • The Living Christ

    This declaration, one that has been widely quoted and published ever since, represents the collective testimony of 15 men who have been called as special witnesses of Jesus Christ. This stable group served together from 1995 to 2004. They issued the 1995 Proclamation and 2000 Statement; these are the only proclamations to be issued by the same 15.
  • Teachings of Presidents: John Taylor (2003)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • Teachings of Presidents: Heber J. Grant (2004)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • The Greatest Generation of Missionaries By M. Russell Ballard

    Please understand this: the bar that is the standard for missionary service is being raised. The day of the “repent and go” missionary is over. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you, my young brothers? Some young men have the mistaken idea that they can be involved in sinful behavior and then repent when they’re 18 1/2 so they can go on their mission at 19. While it is true that you can repent of sins, you may or you may not qualify to serve.
  • Teachings of Presidents: David O. McKay (2005)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • Teachings of Presidents: Wilford Woodruff (2006)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms


    Reverts to pre-1986: the Restoration in the first lesson. Missionaries teach the Great Apostasy during this lesson, pre-1973 practice. Preach My Gospel represents of Adam to J. Smith as a cycle of apostasies and restorations, a concept not in previous discussions. Boyd Packer: Preach My Gospel is “a major change in direction,” signaled by a First Presidency letter (12/2002) for missionaries to stop memorizing presentations.
  • Initiatory Changes

    Procedures for the initiatory are revised such that initiates clothes themselves in the garment before entering the washing room, thus eliminating the final vestiges of ritual nudity (which had been curtailed by introduction of the shield, probably during the 1920s). Water and oil are applied to the head only, not to multiple parts of the body.
  • Teachings of Presidents: Spencer W. Kimball (2007)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • Teachings of Presidents: Joseph Smith, Jr. (2008-2009)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • Endowment Standing Eliminated

    Possibly out of consideration for the elderly and disabled, initiates are no longer instructed to stand while making covenants.
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    Joseph Smith Papers Project

    The Joseph Smith Papers Project is an effort to gather together all extant Joseph Smith documents and to publish complete and accurate transcripts of those documents with both textual and contextual annotation. All such documents will be published electronically on this website, and a large number of the documents will also be published in print.
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  • California and Same-Sex Marriage (Proposition 8)

    The following letter was sent from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Church leaders in California to be read to all congregations on 29 June 2008: "Preserving Traditional Marriage and Strengthening Families"
  • Gospel Principles (Revised) (2010-2011)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • Teachings of Presidents: George Albert Smith (2012)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • SECOND ANOINTING: Do not discuss

    From the Doctrines of the Gospel Teacher Manual (2011): Exercise caution while discussing the doctrine of having our calling and election made sure. Avoid speculation. Use only the sources given here and in the student manual. Do NOT attempt in any way to discuss or answer questions about the second anointing.
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    I'm a Mormon

    I'm a Mormon was an advertising and outreach campaign by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2010[1] to 2018 that aimed to combat stereotypes and misconceptions about the church by featuring short profiles from church members (also known as Mormons). In October 2018, the President of the Church Russell M. Nelson said that the use of nicknames such as Mormon was "a major victory for Satan." The outreach campaign thus ended.
  • Teachings of Presidents: Lorenzo Snow (2013)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • Missionary Age Lowered (Welcome to Conference)

    "I am pleased to announce that effective immediately all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. I am not suggesting that all young men will—or should—serve at this earlier age. Rather, based on individual circumstances as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available."
  • Standard Works

    In 2004, the Scriptures Committee began working on a new edition of the scriptures. Compared to most new editions, the revisions in the 2013 edition are minor. In the text of the scriptures, spelling and punctuation errors were corrected, and some word spellings were updated to more current standards. Study aids were also updated: errors and dated information in cross-references were removed, and contextual adjustments in the section headings of the Doctrine and Covenants were made.
  • Teachings of Presidents: Joseph Fielding Smith (2014)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • "Ordain Women" at General Conference

    Ordain Women organized an event in which approximately 150 Latter-day Saint women and men attempted to attend the priesthood session of the LDS Church's semiannual general conference in the stand-by line, held in the LDS Conference Center and Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah. The women were told at the door that the session was for men only and that they would not be admitted.
  • ESSAY: First Vision Accounts

    First hand:
    1832. He wrote that “the Lord” appeared and forgave him of his sins.
    1835. The appearance of one divine personage who was followed shortly by another. This account also notes the appearance of angels.
    1838. Joseph Smith-History. Canonized account.
    1842. Wentworth Letter. Second hand:
    1840 Orson Pratt
    1842 Orson Hyde
    1843 Levi Richards
    1843 David Nye White
  • ESSAY: Are Mormons Christian?

    While members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have no desire to compromise the distinctiveness of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, they wish to work together with other Christians—and people of all faiths—to recognize and remedy many of the moral and family issues faced by society.
  • ESSAY: Race and the Priesthood

    From the mid-1800s until 1978, the Church did not ordain black men of African descent to its priesthood or allow black men or women to participate in temple ordinances. Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects unrighteous actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else.
  • ESSAY: Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

    In accordance with a revelation to Joseph Smith, the practice of plural marriage—the marriage of one man to two or more women—was instituted among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early 1840s. Thereafter, for more than half a century, plural marriage was practiced by some Latter-day Saints.
  • ESSAY: Book of Mormon Translation

    According to these accounts, Joseph placed either the interpreters or the seer stone in a hat, pressed his face into the hat to block out extraneous light, and read aloud the English words that appeared on the instrument. Emma explained that she “frequently wrote day after day” at a small table in their house in Harmony, Pennsylvania. She described Joseph “sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the stone in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us.”
  • Teachings of Presidents: Ezra Taft Benson (2015)

  • ESSAY: Book of Mormon and DNA Studies

    Evidence assembled suggests that the majority of Native Americans carry largely Asian DNA. A relatively small group of people migrated from northeast Asia to the Americas by way of a land bridge that connected Siberia to Alaska. These people spread rapidly to fill North and South America and were the primary ancestors of modern American Indians. The 2006 update to the introduction of the Book of Mormon states that Book of Mormon peoples were “among the ancestors of the American Indians.”
  • ESSAY: Becoming Like God

    “What kind of a being is God?” he asked. Human beings needed to know, he argued, because “if men do not comprehend the character of God they do not comprehend themselves.” In that phrase, the Prophet collapsed the gulf that centuries of confusion had created between God and humanity. Human nature was at its core divine. God “was once as one of us” and “all the spirits that God ever sent into the world” were likewise “susceptible of enlargement.”
  • ESSAY: Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints

    Some members organized a paramilitary group known as the Danites, whose objective was against dissident and excommunicated Saints. Mormon militiamen planned and carried out a deliberate massacre. They lured the emigrants from their circled wagons with a false flag of truce and slaughtered them. The massacre destroyed the lives of 120 men, women, and children in Mountain Meadows. Only small children—those believed to be too young to be able to tell what had happened—were spared.
  • Kate Kelly Excommunicated

    Kelly subsequently demonstrated on Temple Square during the church's April 2014 General Conference, after which she was excommunicated in June 2014 in absentia after declining to attend a disciplinary council.
  • ESSAY: Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham

    None of the characters on the papyrus fragments mentioned Abraham’s name or any of the events recorded in the book of Abraham. Latter-day Saint and non-Latter-day Saint Egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of Abraham.
  • ESSAY: The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage

    Marriage between one man and one woman is God’s standard for marriage, unless He declares otherwise, which He did through His prophet, Joseph Smith. ... “The Presidency of the Church have to walk just as you walk,” he said. “They have to take steps just as you take steps. They have to depend upon the revelations of God as they come to them. They cannot see the end from the beginning, as the Lord does.”
  • ESSAY: Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo

    Joseph told associates that an angel appeared three times and commanded him to proceed with plural marriage when he hesitated to move forward. Joseph Smith acted on the angel’s command by marrying a plural wife, Fanny Alger, in Kirtland, Ohio, in the mid-1830s. Most of those sealed to Joseph Smith were between 20 and 40 at the time of their sealing to him. The oldest, Fanny Young, was 56. The youngest was Helen Mar Kimball, daughter of Heber C. Kimball, sealed to Joseph several months at 14.
  • Teachings of Presidents: Howard W. Hunter (2016)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • Response to the Supreme Court Decision Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage in the United States

    “Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established” (Ibid). Regarding Church policy, the 2015 Statement directs “Church officers will not employ their ecclesiastical authority to perform marriages between two people of the same sex” nor would Church-owned facilities be available for same-sex marriage ceremonies or celebrations. However, “all visitors are welcome to our chapels and premises so long as they respect our standards of conduct while there.”
  • ESSAY: Mother in Heaven

    Latter-day Saints direct their worship to Heavenly Father, in the name of Christ, and do not pray to Heavenly Mother. As with many other truths of the gospel, our present knowledge about a Mother in Heaven is limited. The doctrine of a Heavenly Mother is a cherished and distinctive belief among Latter-day Saints.
  • ESSAY: Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women

    By 1926, Church President Heber J. Grant affirmed that the First Presidency “do not encourage calling in the sisters to administer to the sick, as the scriptures tell us to call in the Elders, who hold the priesthood of God and have the power and authority to administer to the sick in the name of Jesus Christ.” Currently, the Church’s Handbook 2: Administering the Church directs that “only Melchizedek Priesthood holders may administer to the sick or afflicted.”
  • November 2015 Policy

    LDS Church quietly emails new policy to select leaders, prohibiting marriage between homosexual couples under threat of excommunication. The “November Policy” also barred children of same-sex couples from being blessed or baptized until reaching adulthood.
  • Teachings of Presidents: Gordon B. Hinckley (2017)

    Timeline date: year published
    Parentheses: date used in Church classrooms
  • Jeremy Runnells Excommunicated

  • Elder James J. Hamula Excommunicated

  • Period: to


  • "Ministering" Replaces "Home Teaching" and "Visiting Teaching"

    Elders quorum presidencies will assign ministering brothers to every household, and Relief Society presidencies will assign ministering sisters to each adult sister. Sister Bingham suggested elders quorum and Relief Society leaders counsel together prayerfully. Then, she said, “rather than leaders just handing out slips of paper,” they make assignments in person in a conversation about the strengths, needs, and challenges of those to whom brothers and sisters minister.
  • NAME OF THE CHURCH: "Importance of the name He has revealed"

    Russell M. Nelson released a statement stating “The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with His will. In recent weeks, various Church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so. Additional information about this important matter will be made available in the coming months.” A revised style guide is released.
  • Sam Young Excommunicated

  • Saints: Volume 1: The Standard of Truth: 1815–1846

  • “Come, Follow Me," Two Hour Block Announcement

    “A home-centered and church-supported plan to learn doctrine, strengthen faith and foster greater personal worship.” 2-Hour Church
  • NAME OF THE CHURCH: "The Correct Name of the Church"

    By President Russell M. Nelson "When it comes to nicknames of the Church, such as the “LDS Church,” the “Mormon Church,” or the “Church of the Latter-day Saints,” the most important thing in those names is the absence of the Savior’s name. To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan."
  • Temple Endowment Update

    Temple endowment ceremony updated – women allowed to covenant directly with God instead of their husband and no longer required to veil their faces during prayer.
  • Endowment Presentation Change

    Films no longer shown. Slideshow with voice-over.
  • 2015 Policy Reversed

    Church publicly reverses “November Policy” of Nov 2015, easing policy of LGBT exclusion
  • Civil Marriage Permitted

    Church ends one year temple waiting period for couples who first marry civilly.
  • Ensign Peak Porfolio Revealed

    A whistleblower complaint to the IRS accuses The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of building a $100 billion investment portfolio using donations intended for charitable purposes, potentially in violation of federal tax laws, according to a report published by The Washington Post.
  • Saints: Volume 2: No Unhallowed Hand: 1846–1893

  • PROCLAMATION on The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

    This proclamation begins with the powerful truth that “God loves His children,” followed by a testimony of Jesus Christ and his “infinite atoning sacrifice”. The next paragraphs recount key events of the Restoration. The final paragraphs emphasize the importance of ongoing revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Endowment Ceremony Changes

    The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following message on Monday, July 20, 2020, about changes to the temple endowment ceremony: Through inspiration, the methods of instruction in the temple experience have changed many times, even in recent history, to help members better understand and live what they learn in the temple.
  • First Presidency: COVID-19 Facemasks and Vaccines

    "We know that protection from the diseases they cause can only be achieved by immunizing a very high percentage of the population. To limit exposure to these viruses, we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective."
  • Saints, Volume 3: Boldly, Nobly, and Independent, 1893–1955

  • TITHING: "The Church does not need their money"

    “President Hinckley stood at this pulpit in 2000 and made reference to the law of tithing. I remember watching him teach in impoverished areas of the country and promising the people: the pathway out of poverty is keeping the commandments of God, including tithing. The Church does not need their money, but those people need the blessings that come from obeying God’s commandments.”
  • TITHING: As of February 2023

    o See Doctrine and Covenants 119:3–4; interest is understood to mean income.
    o No distinction between "net" and "gross" income.
    o All members who have income should pay tithing.
    o No exceptions made for members dependent on the church, dependent on relief, or those who do not have a surplus.
    o No comment on when tithing should be paid.